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Saturday, 26 April 2014

The Muslim DAP and Hudud- a response to Zaid Ibrahim's Hudud without Karpal.



After weeks of pondering and thinking about this matter, I can’t avoid but pen down my thoughts. Friends have been sending messages to me asking me directly- if PAS tables a private member’s bill on Hudud, will you support it? Reporters have been looking for me trying to get some views from me. The Chinese papers especially like nothing better to ask a Muslim whether he supports the PAS proposition.
What should a Muslim like me do? I am a member of DAP and DAP’s official stand is that it opposes hudud and the creation of Islamic state. Sometime ago I actually wrote an article about this. This followed some confusion that came about when an internet news portal asked me about the implementation of hudud.
Nasrudin Tantawi , the MP from Termerloh proposed that hudud be implemented to tackle  various serious crimes. As I was coming out from parliament a reporter asked me whether I support Tantawi. I said as a Muslim I support Tantawi’s proposal subject to it getting parliamentary approval and as long as whatever laws Tantawi’s may suggest do not subvert our constitution. The rights of non-Muslims be guaranteed and all that.
As not a lawyer I further said, I thought Tantawi’s suggestions are un-implementable because we don’t have an Islamic constitution. I later read that professor Aziz Bari wrote that hudud laws can be implemented even without having an Islamic constitution. That is up for the lawyers to argue further. I suppose there must be some enabling act or parent act. The comparison is, there cannot be children without parents.
I further added that in the end, if we were to carry out a referendum and 70% of the people in Malaysia agree to the adoption of hudud, then there is nothing anyone can do about it including Karpal Singh. I was not unaware of the late Karpal’s Singh’s opposition to the implementation of the hudud.
Now Karpal Singh and other non-Muslim’s opposition to hudud or even an Islamic state are to be expected because they are non-Muslims. We can’t force people to like us- UMNO or now Pas should understand this.
What should a Muslim MP from DAP do about this? My colleague from Bukit Bendera, Zairil Khir Johari another Muslim MP from DAP has reserved comments on this issue. We must respect his decision.
My position is this. As a Muslim I am obligated to accept hudud because they are punishments on violation on God's laws as stated in the Quran. Quran is our holy book and as a practising Muslim though not entirely as holy as the UMNO MPs are, I have to submit to the will of Allah as any good Muslim aspires to do. I further believe that nurturing of faith is a personal responsibility.
But I cannot agree to the tabling of the bill by PAS and I will give my reasons for doing so. But I won’t give the excuses along the lines mentioned by Zaid Ibrahim in his article; because in that article Zaid seems to imply that the Muslim DAP MPs will display some sort of deception. To Zaid, it seems that to oppose hudud is a badge of honour and something to be proud of along the lines of say it loud, I am Black and I am proud. I will not do that because it is not a proud thing to say something that can and will be interpreted as opposing your own religion; but I will instead take the line suggested in his earlier article- be a sensible Muslim. I will not adopt the line used by our spineless PM from UMNO either.
I will give the reasons why I cannot support PAS in this matter.  I will therefore not support the proposed tabling of the bill by PAS and I want PAS to be aware of this.
My reasons for not agreeing to PAS’s intended tabling are not entirely because of DAP’s official stand. As a party member, I will support the only and official stand of DAP. But DAP is a mature party- it has evolved since it formation into a party that tolerates differing personal views. I want to make it clear to DAP that personally as a Muslim I am obligated to support hudud by trying to be as good a Muslim as I can be. I would further caution my DAP colleagues no to make utterances and statements that can be construed as some form of triumphalism. DAP opposes as a matter of its principle and does so as a matter of fact. It has no intention of offending its Muslim supporters and Muslims in general. As a party member, I stand by what the party stands for. I believe DAP accepts my personal stand.
The reasons why I cannot support the bill are as follows:-
The bill must be part of a larger overriding constitution. I believe that it must be a part of a larger constitution. Right or wrong, I believe there must first be an Islamic constitution otherwise the Islamic forms of punishment are enabled only though delegated legislation administered by definition, what must be inferior courts. Whether the Muslim lawyers and the shariah courts like it or not, the reality is, the shariah courts are inferior to the civil courts. How they feel personally is not relevant. We have a secular constitution and our civil courts and therefore civil laws are superior.
How can PAS or any other Islamic based parties want to overcome this? They can only overcome if they take over parliament and draws up a new constitution replacing the existing one. So, to me, PAS must do the right thing first- secure parliament and change the constitution. Unless they do this, they can’t push through a bill hoping to capitalise on some sort of religious blackmail. I don’t support your bill therefore I am not a good Muslim or even an infidel? I dont agree with you does not mean i am faithless.
To me there are 2 problems here. We have a secular constitution which we have adopted since 1957. (2) We don’t have an overriding Islamic constitution.
Point number (2) Suggests that if PAS or anyone wants to implement any constitutionally changing act, it must first control and get it passed by parliament. As PAS does not have majority control of parliament, it should and ought not propose this bill. It cannot expect the bill to be supported simply on the basis it reserves the right to question other people’s Islamic religiosity if they refuse to support PAS. I hope PAS isn’t going to lower its estimation on other Muslim MPs who will not support PAS even though we are from the same political grouping. There are also Muslim MPs in PKR.
Otherwise PAS must assess the statement given by DAP’s national organising secretary Mr Anthony Loke, which I fully support. If PAS feels so strongly about what it wants to do, and we have no doubts that PAS does feel so, then it must do the necessary action- pull itself out from Pakatan Rakyat.
It can do that, retain its integrity and fight for what is believes in and that is what the party’s raison detre is anyway. Then fight for what it believes for with all intensity. We can still be part of Pakatan rakyat and cooperate when elections comes. The other members will still respect PAS as a partner in the coalition. I believe we have many things in common that can be the basis of cooperation. PLus we face a common enemy.

Other articles on the subject will follow.

17 comments:

Anonymous,  26 April 2014 at 13:10  

You sir are one in a million. Respect your views as a Muslim and a elected MP.

Taikohtai 26 April 2014 at 16:17  

Thank you YB for making clear your stand. I usually do not like to make comments on religious issues because I deem it a personal issue. But to implement a certain religious law as a minority group in violation of the national constitution is bad law. In fact, BN rascals are only too pleased that DAP is fighting their war as they are actually the worst violators, be it hudud or otherwise.

Anonymous,  26 April 2014 at 16:25  

The real reason u did not support hudud is you are afraid you will lose your parliment seat next term plus potential ministership that might come with it. Knowing DAP will not condone any opposition to it stand with regard to hudud matter which btw had nothing to do with DAP in the first place being a majority non muslim party

Anonymous,  26 April 2014 at 16:28  

Very well thought article! Fully support your view!

Anonymous,  26 April 2014 at 17:04  

Your writing goes in circle la Dato.Youare trying ti justify the no. Tell to your Chinese friends don't be afraid.Hudud us not for the non muslims.They are fir the muslims and of course in this country majority are Malays. Tell them and the like of Karpal do not meddle with this issue.Its not their issue. AND I hope Muslims do not have to listen or even seek their opinion.Move on Dato..go on to the issue of scraping the vernacular school system which has long overdue and also Malaysianisation of Chinese as in our neigbouring countries for the national untity agenda..what say you Tok.

idrisfaizal 26 April 2014 at 17:11  

salam dato...
I think PAS play into the UMNO's trap.It makes me realize,those who advice Najib on this issue is quite good.They have found the Achilles' Heel and now all out to exploit it to the max.Pity that some PAS MP's,that believes they are heaven material will not use strategy

Anonymous,  26 April 2014 at 17:54  

Dato,

You wrote "(PAS) it must do the necessary action- pull itself out from Pakatan Rakyat."

Supposing if PAS pulls itself out, then how can PAS "still be part of Pakatan rakyat and cooperate when elections comes?"

How can "other members will still respect PAS as a partner in the coalition?" when PAS is "out from Pakatan Rakyat?"

I hope you can elaborate further in your next article?

Buyung Adil 26 April 2014 at 18:31  

Salam Dato', I think you should seek a more national role.

walla 26 April 2014 at 20:06  

The non's across all political divides can't be blamed for being distressed by the hudud episode.

After all, they have seen how justice was not served even in secular courts where judges had demurred and deferred cases for syariah dispensation instead and with subsequent abetment by the executive arm as well.

What we are really discussing here is not about application of hudud to muslim's but the question of elevating and excusing might-is-right to be the basic operating principle of this country.

One would have thought might-is-right translated into majority-wins should not have a place in the determination of justice based on logical arguments independent of spiritual fiats.

After all, one man's spiritual edict is another man's non-spiritual scepticism.

If majority always wins, He will always be on the side of the bigger battalion and some law of the jungle suffices to serve the faith, no?

Let's take an example. Say a theocratic state surfaces in which hudud applies. A case comes before the syariah court involving a muslim and a non-muslim as co-perps in a crime.

Will the non be meted the same punishment and what recourse will he have?

Or will he be sent to the secular court next door for their determination if in the first place such a theocratic state allows for competitive justice?

And in the case of a BN-run state, will such competitive justice be by open or negotiated tender?

Furthermore, what if the secular punishment is less than the syariah punishment?

Can the muslim appeal on the basis both of them had done exactly the same crime so why the difference? Is the muslim to be less worthy for more justice than a non?

Will the appeal be upheld? If no, why not? If yes, on what grounds yes?

We already have problems in administering theocratic-minded states. Today it's banning mannequins. Tomorrow, eviscerating a cow in a school. Another day, banning nons from using a service elevator in order to earn the halal certificate. Endless possibilities.

Next, the constitution. It's like a contract or agreement between shareholders at the start of an enterprise.

What gives to change its complexion so many years later just because one shareholder has reproduced himself at a faster rate than the others?

Will doing so be fair to the others when it was the original remit that has carried all through thick and thin to this day?

Or is anyone saying the absence of an islamic state all this while is actually detrimental to all the muslims who have passed on since they did not have the benefit of living in such a state?

Yet having said that, everyone knows politically our muslims across both divides can canvas in no time to change the constitution for the country to be an islamic state.

But isn't an islamic state something outside when it is what should be inside that operates spiritual edicts?

You can't bottle a faith and put it on a shelf and sell it for one ninety nine (plus GST), can you? How does holding a bottle of faith make one more religious and Him happier?

walla 26 April 2014 at 20:06  

What is inside is but an islamic state of mind. So what is this islamic state of mind?

Let's assay it is secular practices guided by islamic principles.

Let's take one more leap and say it is not islamic practices guided by secular principles.

What's the distinction? All faiths must be based on the essence of their Messages.

Otherwise in our case the entire wooden cabinet will be without limbs, as a start.

It is quite appealing to see why the essence is, well, essential. Let's say a malay is dropped on a remote and uninhabited island without having been schooled in any faith.

Walking around bored to death, he dreams schemes to cream off rakyat money. Today AES, tomorrow 1MDB, and so on. That's because he's still a kuat-kuat member of a renowned political party.

Suddenly something washes to shore. It's a book. Waterproofed by tetrapak. He picks it up and under the sun, he turns the pages and starts to read.

As he reads, he becomes more and more enamoured by what is written. For it is a complete system of messages on how to conduct himself consistently, furthermore amplified by what to do.

Something clicks inside him. He says to himself, 'this is good'. Then he gets befuddled by some of "what to do's". 'I can't apply some of these here', he concludes - with the same consistency that he has observed in the book.

Now the question: if someone concludes that something read is good, he must already have a sense of what 'good' is all about before he read it. Where did that sense come from? If it came from Up There, then what about those down here who do not subscribe to what the book says? Doesn't that imply discrimination?

Therefore it must have come from elsewhere. Asal mana? From education, upbringing, examples set by peers in school, or friends in facebook, some blogs perhaps? Who knows?

If on the other hand (that is still around) the book is read by someone who has had a poor childhood experience, he may not be so receptive to the goodness in that book; in fact, he may be utterly cynical about things until he takes an opposite stand to the messages out of some misplaced spite.

How we want to be spiritual depends first on how we conduct ourselves in a secular world.

And the first practice of the secular world is - know everything.

Keep an open mind. How else can essences be received?

Bryan Lee,  26 April 2014 at 21:23  

I truly agree. I am a non Muslim and I am not against Islam or Hudud. But first is in this, PAS looks like have betrayed not only their partner but also voters as this is totally not part of the PR election manifesto. if its already part of it and rakyat agree to it and vote, I will not even put my comment here. Tats my stand on this. I hope Muslim do not think when object to it refer to fear of guilty.

Bryan Lee,  26 April 2014 at 21:28  

Idris I truly support what you said. If Pas keen to implement hudud, put it part of the election manifesto. Don't do it after election is over when majority of non-Muslim believe PAS is for all.

looes74 26 April 2014 at 21:49  

This is a very matured response from
Datuk

the mean machine,  26 April 2014 at 22:20  

Dato,this Hudud thing has been on and off for so many times,whether it will one day become a reality is for all to see.

Law abiding citizens,whether they be Muslims,Christians,Buddhists,Hindus or from other faiths have no reason to worry.

It is these people,robber
barrons,robbers,rapists,aldulterers or khalwat practionres who have the most to fear from Hudud.

If Hudud can scare the living daylights out of these criminals,and save the country from going to the dogs,why not.And how about the lorry and bus operators and their drivers.If Hudud can be used and stop them from operating in a dangerous manner with junkyard bound vehicles and their drivers racing like stampeding elephants on the highways causing accidents,lives and griefs to innocent motorists and their families,why not.

If Hudud is being implemented and used in the right way,law abiding Muslims or non Muslims have no reasons to fear.But there should not be cutting off limbs and batangs.All punishments should be limited to double up of strokes of rotans(existing laws) and slicing of the tops of batangs for adulteres and khalwat practioners.These laws are for all Malaysians,especially "LAWMAKERS".

Anonymous,  27 April 2014 at 08:08  

People have been twisting their own take in the name of religion and religion's sake. They may have started off on a sincere note, over a period of time given the multitude of temptations, their own interpretations have mutated and a right becomes a wrong, a wrong becomes a right! DO NOT TINKER WITH THE CONSTITUTION, it is deadly !!

jahamy 30 April 2014 at 18:43  

Dear Sir,


Salam. I follow your blog and generally enjoy your manner of presenting your perspective - you strike me as someone critical and prepared to think out side the box so to speak. Your blog, I believe has some sort of influence in shaping opinions and in this regard I am a trifle disappointed with the above article, though in a sense, I am not surprised. I humbly say I am not surprised because you have shown yourself to be the typical Malay Muslim who seemed to have delegated "religion" to "experts" when in all other matters you are prepared to question.

Before I begin, let say that I am only going to write my views here because I have respect for you.

1)"My position is this. As a Muslim I am obligated to accept hudud because they are punishments on violation on God's laws as stated in the Quran". - Had you known the Quran, you would not have made such a statement because it contains plenty of presumptions which I am sure you are honest enough to admit. Firstly, you MUST ascertain YOURSELF from the Quran IF indeed these are punishments ordained by Allah MANDATORILY FOR violation of "God's Laws". SO, when a man like you makes a conclusion based on a presumption in a matter of faith, it is indeed scary. There is much to write, but I want to be brief and leave the research to you, if it is important to you.

2)You supported Tantawi because you understood what he was proposing or because you assumed that what he was proposing was consistent with the Quran and Sunnah and hence felt obligated to support? You must answer this one to yourself frankly.

3) You keep thinking and writing that the opposition to hudud is a NON_MUSLIM problem. Once again you readily assume that every Muslim agrees to it on the basis of the Quran and the Sunnah. Have you considered that some Muslims may have opposing considred views and that they may find clergy imposed laws as oppressive on their faith and link with Allah? Again, to undersatdn this, you must, must read the Quran.
4)I apologise if I am wrong but I get the impression that you are not addressing the issue head on as a Muslim who knows his Quran and who takes his faith seriously ( I am sure you do think you take your faith seriously and no offence meant Sir). You do not seem to understand that the Quran GUARANTEES absolute freedom of faith. Guidance is the hidayah and jurisdiction of Allah - how then can you or me or the State impose so-called religious laws???? I know that is the thinking of Islamic jurisprudence over the centuries. Well then you deicde - you want Islam of the Quran and Sunnah or Islam of the jurists where even "leaders" like you surrender your understanding to experts !!!

Anyway, I would just like to invite you to make time to read to understand your Quran because I believe Allah has gifted you with the ability to communicate effectively.

CAnt write much and it is better to discuss.

Salam and be well.

You may find the following link interesting.

http://jahamy.blogspot.com/2010/07/stoning-under-syariah-penal-code.html

http://jahamy.blogspot.com/2010/07/stoning-under-syariah-penal-code_26.html

http://jahamy.blogspot.com/2010/07/stoning-under-syariah-penal-code_27.html

telur2,  7 May 2014 at 18:26  

Wisdom is a rare commodity but it's something you possess. As long as there are Malaysians like you there is still hope for this country.

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